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Arts Administration, Cultural Management relaunched after five-year absence

Adam Stroud
A&E Reporter

After a five-year absence, Humber College is sets to re-launch its popular Arts Administration and Cultural Management program this September.

According to Anne Frost, program coordinator, the Arts Management program was suspended due to budgetary reasons. However, she said a high percentage of the graduates are still working within the industry.

“Arts management isn’t like managing Staples or Kelsey’s,” she said.

The three semester post-graduate program’s goal combines students’ passion for the arts with business and management skills to turn them into successful business people in the not-for-profit, commercial and government sectors, said Anne Frost, program coordinator.

The program will engage students in a hands-on environment and offer a holistic overview of everything required to work in the arts including instruction in areas ranging on everything from human resources, contract law and financial management to working with volunteers and with the public school system, Frost said.

“Generally speaking, we teach how to function as a paid professional working with artists and with audiences. We offer courses that deal with all these things,” she said.

The new iteration of the course also features instruction on social media and viral marketing, and cultural pluralism and diversity among other things, said Frost.

All of the instructors will be “arts management professionals” who still work in the field they are teaching about.

Jacoba Knaapen, executive director of the Toronto Alliance of the Performing Arts, will teach marketing. Knaapen has hired graduates from the program in the past and said that programs like this are absolutely essential to the sector.

“The program helps the entire sector to succeed, which in turn helps Toronto to succeed,” she said.

Knaapen also emphasized the importance of bringing new blood into a rapidly evolving industry.

“We are looking to the next generation to bring new ideas and fresh perspectives to the sector,” she said.

Jason Aviss, coordinator of events services at the Toronto International Film Festival, was in the final graduating class of the Arts Management program before it was suspended in 2009.

Aviss, who is on the program advisory council, said he is thrilled the program is being re-instated after a five-year gap.

“In the couple of years since I’ve graduated the program I’ve constantly had people coming up to me asking me: ‘So where did you go to school for this program?’” he said. “It’s been a void that hasn’t been filled.”

Frost is currently conducting group interviews to gauge suitability for the program, but for interested students it is not too late to apply. Frost said she would continue conducting interviews until the program is full or until September, whichever comes first.

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